Written evidence submitted by Transport for London (BUS0010)

 

Following the launch of the Transport Select Committee’s National Bus Strategy: One Year On report, we would like to take this opportunity to draw the Committee’s attention to the Transport for London Bus Action Plan published earlier this month.

 

While we appreciate the Capital was excluded from the National Bus Strategy, we are committed to continuing to improve bus services in London and believe our Bus Action Plan will provide a useful frame of reference for Committee members.

 

The Plan sets out our long-term vision for buses, which, with a long-term funding settlement, could see a modern bus network attract more customers and help London become net zero by 2030. 

 

The Plan sets out how we can encourage people out of cars and onto buses through an inclusive, safe, clean, reliable, fast and green bus network, focusing in five areas: 
 

An inclusive customer experience – a modern, relevant bus network that allows for spontaneous, independent travel, including improved customer information and bus station refurbishment; working with diverse communities to promote inclusivity, with actions including upgrading even more existing bus stops to meet the wheelchair accessible standard 
 

Safety and security – a safe, secure bus network, with no one killed on or by a bus by 2030, all elements of the Bus Safety Standard implemented by 2024; ensuring customers and staff feel confident on the bus network, including improved bus driver training 
 

Faster journeys – a faster, and more reliable, efficient bus network, with journeys 10 per cent quicker than in 2015 by 2030, with initiatives including the aim to introduce 25km of new and improved bus lanes by 2025 
 

Improved connections – a bus network better suited to longer trips, with better interchange, especially in outer London; ensuring London residents remain close to a bus stop  

 

Decarbonisation and climate resilience – a zero-emission bus fleet to help to mitigate climate change and improve air quality, working with operators, boroughs and suppliers to reduce the cost and difficulty of infrastructure upgrades needed to enable the transition of the bus fleet; safeguarding the network from extreme weather conditions  

  

Realising this vision is essential to ensuring a green and inclusive recovery for London and for the wider country. Investment into London buses supports jobs in the supply chain all around the country, helping to support the Government’s levelling up agenda. The vision is also required to meet both Mayoral and Government targets for decarbonisation, air quality and sustainable transport. However, we require a properly-funded transport network and continued close partnership working with boroughs and others to achieve this.  

  

Investing in buses can be a win-win: by improving bus journey times we can reduce costs and increase revenue at the same time as more people are attracted to use the service.  

 

The Bus Action Plan can be seen in action on route 63, which operates between King’s Cross to Honor Oak, where new higher specification all-electric buses were launched earlier this year. The buses bring together a range of customer-friendly features for the first time, including a more welcoming feel, USB charge points, a larger wheelchair and buggy area and better real time travel information on board. A new bus lane on the New Kent Road section of the route, is improving journey times and reliability. All vehicles meet our Bus Safety Standard and feature upgraded CCTV, enhancing security system. 

 

The Bus Action Plan can be read in full at https://content.tfl.gov.uk/bus-action-plan.pdf. We would be delighted to assist in any way with your inquiry.

 

 

March 2022